This should be another "taper" week for me as I'm racing the Super 5K in Narragansett on Sunday. A PR would be nice, but history has shown that I'm not at my fastest for these early road 5K's. We'll see. I'm not going to keep the intensity that low again this week just for this race. I'm more interested in a strong performance the following week at the Brrr-lingame 10 Mile Trail Race.
Monday: 6 miles - Ryan Park trails alone. I headed out in the light snow to go pick up the flags from the race on the western side of the park. This was just what I was looking for today, as it was very relaxing. Total time: 53:06.
Tuesday: 10 miles - Wickford roads alone. What to do today? Despite the warmish temperature (high 30's) the damp overcast conditions made things a bit dreary. The trails seemed like they would be too messy, and the roads would be full of puddles (melting snow). I decided to run from my office on a route that I know to be in decent shape for these conditions. Right away, I felt pretty smooth and I knew I was going at a good pace (refusing to look at my watch). I decided to keep it up for the duration. It felt hard at times, especially during miles 3 through 5. Then it got easier until I upped the intensity the last two miles. I swear that the GPS was off a tad, as I mapped it online and was expecting an earlier finish point. Whatever. Strava had my 10 mile time as 1:02:15 - 6:13 pace. It felt good to do a run like this.
Wednesday: 9 miles - Quonset bike path and roads alone. I wanted to get in some short intervals, so I utilized my favorite open, flat, and straight road in Quonset to do a 12x200 workout. The wind was howling out of the SW, so I made sure to run with the wind on all of them. This required backtracking on most of my recoveries (full 200's). My legs felt sore today, but I got through the workout without issues. Warm today (57 degrees) - shorts and t-shirt weather. I felt hot running with the wind, and chilly running into it. My warm up was mostly into the wind, but ended up being a rather snappy 7:04 pace for 18 minutes. The intervals felt a little sloppy in the beginning, but then I got into a good groove. Results: 34,37,36,35,33,33,33,32,34,34,34,34 Longish cooldown that felt terrible at times completely exposed to the wind. My legs were fatiguing so I stopped at 9.12 miles. Total time: 1:03:06.
Thursday: 11.5 miles - Big River trails alone. I began the day sore and unmotivated, but the warm sun perked me up and I decided to take advantage of a quiet day at work and head out to Big River. I pulled into the Hopkins Hill lot, and it was teeming with mountain bike activity - middle-aged men in orange fiddling with the bikes. I wasn't sure my exact itinerary, but I decided to begin by running around Carr Pond. I was expecting my legs to feel like junk once I got moving, but they were holding up well. I was feeling rather low energy-wise the first 30 minutes. I'm blaming it on having soda with lunch instead of the usual water. Anyway, I was moving along at a comfortable clip that was probably high 7's pace. The shelter of the woods was perfect for avoiding the screaming winds. The sun and warmish temperature felt fantastic! I ran the usual circuit of trails: Pinto, Flipper, Water Tower, Upper Spider, Ridge. I successfully was able to connect to Foster's Folly, something I couldn't figure out last fall, although I'm not sure I can remember exactly how I did it today. This trail seemed more twisty than I remembered and may have been my favorite spot on today's run. I popped out onto the New London Turnpike and headed west to the mannequin trail. I have to say the mannequin is not in great shape, but is still quite creepy. I continued past the vacuum and then reached the Turnpike once again. I then followed Dead Shed (some new fallen trees to climb through) back towards Tarbox Pond. I looped down around the pond, but didn't feel like attempting the beaver dam crossing (I leave that for the Turtles!). I hit Hopkins Hill Road at 1:29, so I just tucked back into the woods and did the steep climb up to the parking lot to complete my "loop". I loved this run! Total time: 1:33:41.
Friday: 7.5 miles - Exeter backroads & Queens River Preserve trails with Galoob and Gunshow. We car shuttled from Barber's Pond and began our run in the preserve. Mike led us on a tour of this smallish trail system. The river is really impressive here, and there is a single track trail through mountain laurel above the river which was nice. We then began heading south on dirt roads. The pace was probably a bit too fast to be called easy, but it was an enjoyable run. Total time: 55:31.
Saturday: 7 miles - DuVal trail early morning group run. Eight of us met up at 6:30AM for a relaxed trail run. Had to laugh at Jeff pulling into the parking lot blasting "Running with the Devil" on his radio. After a quick check of the message board to see if there's been any recent cougar activity (no missing pet signs), we headed off. Most of us were doing a shorter run, as we were racing the next day, but others were doing a long run. It was fun to move back and forth and conversate with different people along the way. After some indecision, we ran the dirt road out to Gravelly Hill where we then bid the long runners adieu. We returned to DuVal and split up in 3 ways, depending on who needed to get back when. I finished up with Muddy in 56:25.
Sunday: 10 miles - Super 5K in Narragansett, RI. 10th overall - 17:35. Huge WTAC turnout and team win. I had a blast at this event, but had a subpar race. Separate write up to follow.
Overall: I had a great week of training, but unfortunately it was too much for my legs come race day. I knew this going in - I'm more focused on the 10 mile trail race next Sunday, but I still feel some disappointment. I'm going to really play it smart next week.
Weekly Total: 61 miles
Last Week: 58 miles
Year to Date: 304 miles